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New Report: Drugstore Networks Could Save Employers, Medicare, and Medicaid $115 Billion
Date:1/28/2013

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health plans explore new ways to reduce costs, a new study finds that the extraordinary number of pharmacies in the United States offers an opportunity to save $115 billion over the next decade through the greater use of preferred and limited pharmacy networks.  The study from Visante finds that preferred and limited pharmacy networks can reduce costs while meeting the national access standards of the popular Medicare Part D program, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today. 

Today, most plans use "open networks," where all participating drugstores offer basic discounts and consumers pay copays instead of the cash price.  Far fewer plans use preferred networks (where the drugstores that offer the best discounts are "preferred" over other network pharmacies) and even fewer plans use "limited networks" (which include only the drugstores with the best discounts).

"Since the U.S. now has more pharmacies than McDonald's, Burger Kings, Pizza Huts, Wendy's, Taco Bells, Kentucky Fried Chickens, Domino's Pizzas, and Dunkin' Donuts combined, greater use of drugstore networks can save billions without undermining patient access," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt .  "For public programs, it's far better to reduce health costs by encouraging drugstores to compete than to randomly slash enrollee benefits or provider payments."

Click here to read the study.

Major findings include:

  • Greater use of preferred and limited pharmacy networks generates savings. Greater use of preferred and limited pharmacy networks could save payers an additional $115 billion over the next ten years and achieve the savings estimated below while meeting Medicare's p
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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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